Critical Issue In Security/Loss Prevention

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Critical Issue in Security/Loss Prevention

Critical Issue in Security/Loss Prevention


In its simplest form, the term private security refers to the protection of people, property, and information.( Chamard 2006) In its most complex form, it refers to individuals and businesses that provide, for a fee, services to clientele to protect their persons, their private property, or their interests from various hazards. The broadness of this definition indicates how expansive the scope of private security is. Because private security has alternately been referred to in the literature as private policing, asset protection, and protective security, there is little consensus among either academics or practitioners about what to call the field.

Historical Development

Much of the disagreement about what constitutes private security and its legitimacy as a social science discipline is rooted in historical context.( Fleming 2007) The practice of using people to protect property and people is centuries old. It originated in the Middle Ages (approximately 500 to 1500), when land barons who owned large estates began taking political and economic control of nearby estates.

In today's protective forces, retainers would be akin to infantrymen, and knights to special forces.

In addition to using special forces (guards) to protect them and their property, land barons used target-hardening measures to deter crime.

Theoretical Foundations

Regardless of how private security is defined, its primary purpose is always to prevent or reduce loss. Several models for understanding private security as a loss-prevention strategy have been proposed in the literature—the military model, the management model, the scientific model, and the legal model.

The Military Model

Because of its historical relationship to policing, private security has often been viewed simply as a form of private policing. Even today, when the public thinks about what constitutes private security, usually security guards come to mind. Private security's early emphasis on crime control has given rise to a perception of security as reactive; indeed, in its early form the blurring of the distinction between private and public policing was evident.

The Management Model

As the security field diversified in the 1980s and became more responsive to the needs of business, a management model quickly began to dominate how security was perceived and what its functions would be. Security practitioners and innovative business managers began to view the functions of security as an essential component of business.

The Scientific Model

Unlike the management model of security, the scientific model has been slow in developing. This is due in large ...
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